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“Remain in Mexico” Reset is Not What Migrants Were Hoping For

Plus: A migrant teen was processed as an adult even though his birth certificate proved he was 16 years old.

Deanna Garcia

Dec 21, 2021

A group of Guatemalans, recently deported from the United States by air. Photo:Oliver de Ros

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Timoty Correas moved to a roach-infested hotel full of migrant families after spending five months in a cramped tent camp along the U.S.-Mexico border. Like the thousands of others in the hotel, Correas and his eight-year-old son are stranded at the border, hoping pandemic restrictions will end and the processing of migrants in the U.S. will continue. Correas fled Honduras to search for his parents in Houston after facing death threats. He traveled for a month with smugglers in Mexico to seek asylum, but he later discovered it wasn’t an option. When Correas heard about the reboot of “Remain in Mexico,” he became hopeful. Even though the program promises a six-month wait, Correas sees it as a sign processing will begin again for families — but immigrant advocates don’t see it the same way. The Guardian 

In other national immigration news…

International Migrants Day Observed in Mexico City

On Saturday, roughly 100 migrants who hiked on foot from the Guatemalan border gathered in Mexico City to mark International Migrants Day and remember travelers who died along the journey. Demonstrators hoisted a plaque that read, in part, “Migration is a human right.” Most of the group had been on the move since late October from Tapacula, Mexico. A coalition of groups representing Central American migrant families who disappeared in Mexico described 2021 as “a year of setbacks.” The Associated Press 

Venezuelan Immigrant Won Visa Lottery and Opened Her Dream Restaurant

Isabel Fernandez immigrated from Caracas, Venezuela, to the U.S. in 2017 through a Diversity Visa program. In Caracas, she was a nurse with two jobs, but could barely afford to raise her family. So she took the opportunity for her and her family to move to the U.S. when she won the green card lottery. Fernandez said it was rather challenging for her, her husband and two daughters to adapt to the U.S.’s weather, culture, currency and language barrier in Worcester, Massachusetts. But Fernandez eventually opened her own restaurant, Sabrosa Venezuela, where she serves Venezuelan dishes. Telegram & Gazette 

Texas Gov. Displays First Part of State-Funded Border Wall

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Saturday showed off the first state-built border wall built so far and said more walls will be put up in the state. The section of the wall in the Rio Grande area spans just 800 feet so far, the 30-foot-tall metal bollards are supposed to run along 1.3 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border. This is just one part of the 8 miles of border wall that Abbott plans to build to “fill the gaps” former President Donald Trump left behind. Not everyone agrees with this project. “Abbott is wasting Texans’ money on political theater that only benefits his reelection campaign, not the taxpayers,” South Texas environmentalist Scott Nichol said. “Border walls inflict terrible environmental damage and push border crossers into deadly terrain, but as a security measure, they are worthless.” Border Report 

Teen Questioned About His Age, Separated From His Parents and Put into Detention

A Nicaraguan teen said he was “terrified” when he was separated from his parents for multiple weeks after border authorities questioned whether he was under 18, even though he had a birth certificate. He and his family got to the southern border in mid-September to seek asylum due to police repression in Nicaragua. According to the 16-year-old’s family and attorney, he was separated from his parents and processed as an adult. He was then locked up in two Immigration and Customs Enforcement jails in Louisiana for several weeks. The teen said he spent 18 days in a solitary cell, where he received no sunlight and social interaction. NBC News



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